Monday, April 2, 2012

Storytelling: Not Just for Marketers Anymore?

Can we measure up to some of the best storytellers of all time? There are some that can.

We all know that guy/girl at the party that attracts a crowd of eager-beaver listeners with merely the sound of their voice intonating that an anecdotal story is coming. What do we do: we, not only stop whatever it is we are doing to listen and laugh, but by the end of the story, we feel completely connected to our storyteller-at-large.  We may even reach out later on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter to follow up with that existing relationship.  We feel like we know them and want to hear more.

Brands are told to create compelling stories too. Everyone wants to feel connected, even the most rigid and technical companies. Traditionally, it is marketing that is told to create the story: think Mad Men and the Kodak projector and Facebook with the introduction of timeline.  We can agree that the beginning of the funnel is the place for the storytelling process, but it is equally important to communicate a convincing story through out the entire sales cycle.

A compelling story that conjures up an emotional response makes your prospects and leads connect and trust you—it could make all the difference in shortening your sales and marketing cycles.

There are a plentitude of resources available to educate marketers on good storytelling techniques, but not nearly enough resources available to educate salespeople on the importance of a good story, and often this skill is over-looked entirely because closing the deal—the result, becomes more important than the journey.

So, how do you tell a good story?

Remember the 5Ws of Journalism?

Your story starts here. The 5ws will help you deliver the right message in both, marketing and in sales.  Furthermore, this is the chance for true collaboration with marketing and sales.  Discovering the Ws is much less daunting when using triggers.  As you build a relationship with prospects and leads remember that triggers can help you build trust.  You have done your research and because of that research your story just became that much richer.  Humanize your brand, your product and watch as your leads convert-- with just the intonation in your voice.

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